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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  January 11, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EST

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of foul play or whether or not she is, indeed, just a runaway. her parents have indicated, brooke, that there is no history of running away and they don't believe that she ran away. >> sunny hostin, my apologies, we're out of time. but it's lovely seeing you, finally. i'm glad you got out of your snowy connecticut home. we'll be talking to you tomorrow with more on "on the case." i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for watching the last two hours. i'll pass it off to my colleague, wolf blitzer, with "the situation room" now. wolf? >> thanks very much, brooke. happening now, a move to protect the funeral of the youngest victim of the arizona shooting. state lawmakers are now trying to prevent extremist fringe protesters from getting near mourners. this hour, their action and the outrage that's developing. also, president obama is trying to find the right words to comfort the people of tucson and the nation without sounding too political. we'll talk about the challenges he faces at tomorrow's memorial services. and how does a troubled young man wind up as an accused assassin? i'll talk to a top psychologist about jared loughner's state of
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mind and the warning signs that were apparently missed. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this hour, new steps toward healing in arizona, three days after a congresswoman's meeting with constituents turned into a bloodbath. doctors say representative gabrielle giffords is breathing on her own and is less sedated. but she's still in critical condition, recovering from the bullet that went through her brain. roughly 24 hours before president obama attends a memorial service for the shooting victims, a mass will be held tonight in memory of the six people killed and 14 wounded. mourners will gather at the tucson church where the youngest victim, 9-year-old christina green, had her first communion. state lawmakers are refusing to let anyone disrupt the funeral of green or any other shooting victim. they've been working feverishly to pass legislation to bar protesters from getting too close to mourners.
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a group known for picketing at military funerals is promising to show up in arizona thursday when green is laid to rest. jessica yellin's watching all of this and more unfold in tucson. jessica, what's the latest? >> reporter: wolf, right now the arizona state house and senate are meeting to take up this legislation in what the house speaker told me is an unprecedented, expedited way. the legislation would bar any protesters from within 300 feet of the funeral of christina green, but also of any funeral here from an hour before to an hour after the proceedings. as you know, the westborough baptist church has an anti-gay rights agenda and has used high-profile funerals to get attention. so the house and senate are taking up this measure today. they say that it's a measure that usually would take days and days if not week to pass. they've waived all rules so they can pass it by the end of business today, and the governor has said she would sign it. it is taking place, as we speak,
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wolf, and it should happen within a few hours. >> i happen to believe that arizona can lead the way for the country in many different areas. and certainly when this tragedy has struck our state, the way that we react to it, the way we respond, how we move forward, i think, can have a positive effect on the entire country. >> reporter: wolf, that was the speaker of the house, who i interviewed earlier today, who's saying arizona should lead the way and this piece of legislation is the first act of unity that they are showing, bipartisan unity. but he also said that everybody in the legislature should think about the way they use words and have a conflict of ideas, not a conflict of personalities. that man, for the record, he's a republican, speaker of the house, wolf. >> it's obscene to even think about the disruption of this little girl's funeral. tell us a little bit more. i know you've been learning more about this little 9-year-old girl.
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>> reporter: wolf, as you know, she was a young woman who wanted to go into politics, believed in politics, and was beloved by not just her parents, but by this community. and the family of the woman who brought her to gabrielle giffords' event spoke earlier today. they were, of course, broken up, but said that everybody should go on in christina's spirit to think of positive things and lessons we can all learn from this looking forward. and i'm sure that's what will happen after her funeral, which takes place thursday. wolf? >> jessica yellin's on the scene for us in tucson, thank you. now to president obama and his leadership, as the entire country tries to process this tragedy. a lot of people are drawing comparisons between this moment and president clinton's remarks after the oklahoma city bombing. cnn's kate balduan is covering the white house for us today. kate, this is going to be an important speech that the president will deliver at this memorial service tomorrow in tucson. >> absolutely, wolf.
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and in the aftermath of tragedy, the nation looks to the white house, to the president for comfort and for strength. and finding the right words to do that is the big task at hand for president obama as he prepares to head to tucson tomorrow. president clinton in 1995. >> when there is talk of violence, let us stand up and talk against it. in the face of death, let us honor life. >> reporter: this widely praised speech after the oklahoma city bombing many describe as a defining moment for the clinton presidency. >> and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. >> reporter: and president bush faced a similar task of being the nation's voice of sorrow and courage after the 9/11 attacks. >> in this trial, we have been reminded and the world has seen that our fellow americans are generous and kind, resourceful and brave. >> reporter: and now, it's up to
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president barack obama. >> as president of the united states, but also as a father, obviously, i'm spending a lot of time just thinking about the families and reaching out to them. >> reporter: white house officials say the president began working on his speech last night and is still thinking through what he wants to say in tucson. the message could range from personal to profound. officials say mr. obama will devote most of his remarks to memorializing the shooting victims. however, this is unfortunately not the first time president obama has been forced into the position of mourner in chief. the ft. hood shootings left 13 people dead in 2009. >> it may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy, but this much we do know. no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts. >> reporter: and the challenge is always striking the right tone. >> he has to give a lovely,
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passionate memorial statement. a jeweulogy, of grief, of hope, perhaps, for the future, but it's not a political speech. >> reporter: president obama's speech is still being drafted this evening, and i'm told that he and his team will likely continue to work on it and tweak it throughout the day tomorrow. in terms of tone, wolf, i'm told by a white house official who stressed to me that the president and the first lady are attending a memorial service, speaking there, not the time for a political speech. wolf? >> and we'll have live coverage here on cnn, 8:00 p.m. eastern. i'll be joined by my colleague, john king. he's in tucson, 8:00 p.m. eastern, we'll have special coverage of the president's participation at the memorial service in tucson. that's coming up tomorrow night. homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve is getting more information, new information on the investigation
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into this assassination attempt. jeanne, what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, a law enforcement source tells us that jared loughner took a knapsack with him to that shooting scene. we know he had that 9 millimeter glock. he had 32 -- two 30 round magazines, two 15 round magazines, and a knife. officials say they are still looking at this scene. this source isn't ready to say definitively yet just how many rounds he fired there. they are still at that shooting scene. they're using something called a total station. this is a digital piece of surveying equipment, which takes very precise measurements. this can be fed into a computer to give them a recreation of the crime scene. one instance in which it was previously used, the collapse of that bridge in minneapolis back in august of 2007. they used it there to try and figure out exactly what had happened. they're using it for the same purpose here in tucson. this source tells me that they now have a pretty good handle -- those are the source's words --
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on loughner's 22 years. obviously, they're particularly interested in the days and weeks prior to the shooting, but law enforcement at this point in time not sharing with us any of the details. they are still looking for people who knew loughner to try and get more. still no indication, this source says, that there were any other people involved. no indication that he had any links to any groups. they're still, of course, trying to come up with a motive for all of this. and this final note, wolf, we are told by administration officials that both the attorney general, eric holder, and the secretary of homeland security, janet napolitano, will both be in tucson tomorrow for that memorial service. >> i know the president personally dispatched the fbi director, robert mueller, to lead this investigation. he went there over the weekend. is he still there, leading the investigation, or has he delegated to other fbi agents? >> reporter: no, he came back late yesterday, wolf. he's back in washington now. >> all right. the fbi, the lead investigation on in case. thanks, jeanne. thanks very, very much.
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we heard today from some relatives of the victims, stories of heroism and heartbreak. it gives us more of a glimpse into how farparents of young christina green are coping right now. and some doctors believe shooting suspect jared loughner is a schizophrenic. and could the tucson massacre been prevented if ammunition clips that hold a lot of bullets were banned? [ reco] [ record scratches ] probably isn't giving results you want. discover neosporin® lip health™. shown to restore visibly healthier lips in just 3 days. neosporin® lip health™. rethink your lip care. i am a banker with quicken loans. this is kathy, who i helped do her first home loan, and this is her sister tina, who i also helped do her first home loan. it was unbelievable how well it all fell together. kathy said, "well, let me give you rachel's number." easy. easy. easy. the whole loan process was simple and convenient! that's why i love quicken loans! [ male announcer ] and you'll be glad to know
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that's almost 8 times the size of my hometown. my name is nick and i work at walmart. ♪ the horror in tucson and the challenging task for president obama, that's on jack cafferty's mind right now. jack's here with the cafferty file. jack? >> it is the nature of events that confront our leaders that often serve to define them. and in the wake of tucson massacre, president obama has been given an opportunity to deliver on a promise he made to all of us a long time ago. to raise the level of political discourse and by so doing, unify this country.
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politico has a terrific piece today on how the tragedy presents president obama the opportunity to elevate the nasty tone of politics, much like bill clinton did after the oklahoma city bombing. political analysts say that the president could use this experience to help move the country to a higher moral ground. this is a promise the president first made in that famous 2004 speech at the democratic national convention. and civil discourse is something he has talked about tirelessly, not just on the campaign trail, but since he's been in office as well. however, actions speak louder than words, and over the last couple of years, we haven't seen much, if any, of this, in washington, d.c. in fact, the partisan division and heated rhetoric between the two sides are arguably worse than they have ever been, at least in my memory. president obama, at times, has been a part of the problem himself. during the campaign, then-candidate obama said of countering republican attacks, "if they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun."
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and more recently, in the lead up to the midterms, president obama referred to republicans as "enemies." the president has called the tucson shootings a tragedy for the entire country. he's headed there tomorrow. a nation increasingly weary of anger and division will be listening. here's the question. what can president obama say in tucson to ease the pain? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, post a comment on my blog. >> jack, thank you. there's certainly a lot of political and legal aspects to this story, but we never want to lose sight of the victims of this mass shooting and their families. doctors say congresswoman gabrielle giffords' recovery is in large part up to her right now. listen to some of today's update on her condition. >> this is the phase of the care where it's so much up to her. and this is where we constantly say, it's week to week, month to month. and i know everyone wants to hear new results every day, but as long as we don't backslide
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and as long as she holds her own, that's good. that keeps us hopeful. but we have to play this really according to her timeline, not ours. and we have to avoid the frustration that so often her family will feel, we, the doctors, will feel, and, of course, all of you will feel. she's going to take her recovery at her own pace. and i'm very encouraged by the fact that she has done so well. this kind of injury, i think we've said it a couple of times, a penetrating injury through the skull, really, the survival, let alone recovery, is abysmal. she has no right to look this good, and she does. we're hopeful, but i do want to underscore the seriousness of this injury and the fact that we all have to be extremely patient. >> excellent advice. we also heard today from some of the victims' families. the daughters of dorwin stoddard praised their father a hero. he died in the arms of his wife while trying to shield her. and we also heard from bill
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hyleman who brought 9-year-old christina green to the meet and growth event. >> susie's going to be fine long-term, i'm not sure we'll be quite as active with all her physical activities, she'll be in a walker for three months and in rehab after that. but she's a tough young woman and a survivor. the greens very much remain in our prayers every minute. they are dear, sweet friends of ours, who have been from the get-go trying their best to take care of susie, despite the loss that they personally suffered. the graciousness that that couple has shown, given the tragedy that they've experienced, is unlike anything i've ever experienced, and beyond the safety of my wife and those of the other victims, i most pray for john and roxanna green. >> he heard the shots and covered my mom with his own body, protected her and saved her, yes. mom definitely felt that way.
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>> i think further of that is as because dad lay dying, mom didn't know she'd been hurt. she thought that she was holding him and her leg started hurting, and it wasn't until they got to the hospital that she even realized she'd been spot. >> it sounded like the couple really came together -- >> it was a beautiful way to say good-bye and go home. >> the deadly massacre's fueling the debate over arizona's controversial gun laws. just ahead, we're going to show you some of the weapons and ammunition, the ammo magazines now being called into question. and could the controversial wikileaks founder actually end up at guantanamo bay? stay tuned. # [ female announcer ] in the grip of arthritis, back, or back joint pain?
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the missed warning signs in jared loughner's case, cnn's special investigations unit is digging in deeper to that. our correspondent, drew griffith, is getting ready to join us with more on this part of the story. meanwhile, new concerns for the attorneys of the controversial wikileaks founder. our lisa sylvester is monitoring that. some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on? >> hi, wolf. lawyers for julian assange say he could be extradited to guantanamo bay if he's sent to sweden. extradition also could subject him to the death penalty. assange, who's free on bail, is wanted by swedish prosecutors in connection with sex allegations separate from the wikileaks document. an extradition hearing is
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scheduled for next month. the oversight commission appointed by president obama to investigate the bp oil spill is warning that if the government doesn't take drastic steps, another disaster could occur. in a new report, the panel faults the government for years of complacency and blames the three companies involved in the spill, bp, transocean, and halliburton, for systemic failures. it also calls for a drilling safety overhaul. and actor michael douglas, he says that he believes he has won his six-month battle with throat cancer. in an interview with nbc's "today" show, douglas seemed optimistic about his long-term health. >> so you've allowed yourself to look that for a down the road? >> yeah! oh, absolutely. no, i think -- absolutely. i think the odds are with the tumor gone, and what i know about this particular type of cancer, that i've got it beat. >> douglas says he'll be examined on a monthly basis and he's calling his experience "a
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wild ride." he also says that he's back at the gym. and wolf, he says that he's, quote, these are his words, he's eating like a pig after losing 32 pounds. so we certainly wish him well. >> we certainly do. and we hope it's a real, real great recovery and we hope he has many, many motion pictures down the road. >> you're a fan? >> i'm a huge fan. i know him, he's a very, very nice man. we're getting new glimpses at the warning signs that something was very wrong with the alleged gunman in the arizona shooting. we'll walk you through the missed clues. and there's a lot of talk that the bitterness here in washington helped fuel the violence in tucson. did it? the american people seem to have their doubts. paul begala and mary matalin are both standing by for our strategy session.
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a disturbing pattern of behavior is emerging as authorities attempt to learn more about alleged gunman, jared lee loughner. now there are new concerns that more could have been done to prevent saturday's deadly massacre. and fears that potential warning signs may have been missed. drew griffin with cnn's special investigations unit has more. >> this will be starting my fourth year. >> reporter: on the very first day of class, matthew mcgahee knew there was something wrong with the student in classroom 209.
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a student named jared loughner, who had first become a disturbance, sudden outbursts, challenging his teaching. then going silent and ignoring everyone while listening to his ipod. the behavior, the professor thought, was threatening. >> i still felt uncomfortable, as well as the other students. >> even after he was -- >> even after he was gone. because you never know these guys. they could come back and try to cause harm. >> reporter: mcgahee teaches elementary algebra at pima county community college. jared loughner, one of his students. >> school officials, teachers on all levels need to take this more seriously, as far as security goes. >> reporter: school officials suspended loughner in late september, after five different incidents involving campus police. campus police visited him and his parents, but school officials say they couldn't do anything more. hamstrung, they say, by personal privacy rights.
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keeping them honest, we asked the vice president of student development, dr. lorraine morales, if they did enough. the school felt it had done what it needed to do to protect the other students on campus? >> yes. and that was our primary concern. >> reporter: this is where he went to high school, mountain view high school. his friends say he was talented. played saxophone in the high school band. but in junior here, something happened. his friends say he began to use drugs and he never returned for his senior year. friends say loughner became obsessed with the nuance of language and with u.s. currency. in this text-only posting on youtube just before christmas, he said the majority of the residents of his congressional district were illiterate. he added nearly all of the people who don't know this accurate information of a new currency aren't aware of a mind control and brainwash methods. here at the tucson store where
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loughner bought the glock semiautomatic pistol back in november, he didn't fit any of the "prohibiter possessor categories" that would have prohibited the purchase. he passed an instant federal background check and was on his way. he first tried to buy ammunition at this walmart store, abruptly left, and made the purchase somewhere else. as the memorial candles still burn outside the hospital, where congresswoman gabby giffords is being treated, questions persist about how and whether jared loughner might have been stopped before the mayhem. wolf, new information has come out today about what was in jared loughner, at least his family's, safe. in it, he apparently had kept a letter that congresswoman giffords had sent to him back in 2007, thanking him for coming to a meet and greet session that was taking place, much like the one that happened on saturday. he saved that letter.
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and also in the safe, according to court records, was an envelope, on which was written, "i planned ahead" and also giffords' name. just a few more clues into what is just an unimaginable and un-understandable crime. wolf? >> good points, drew. let's talk a little more about this. about jared lee loughner. joining us now is the psychologist alan lipman, the founder for the center of violence here in washington, also is a lawyer in addition to being a psychologist. i've heard you say, alan, that you believe he's a schizophrenic. why do you say that? what does that mean? >> first of all, let's get clear that the evidence is increasingly concrete that this is not someone who was driven largely by political motivations. so let's take it through a road map of why, with the caveat that we haven't seen him in the flesh, there's such ubiquitous evidence that suggests this is someone with schizophrenia.
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number one, we've looked at these videos, with the strange and twisted logic -- >> the youtube videos? >> the youtube videos. and people have pored over them wondering, does it show he's on the left or the right? it doesn't show either. what it shows is the twisted thinking and the coined words which are classic signs of classic thought disorder, which are hallmarks of schizophrenia. >> is that a paranoid schizophrenic, or is there a difference? >> well, formal thought disorder is present in all forms of schizophrenia. but the next feature, which is very clear, is a part of paranoid schizophrenia. and it's very important to the shooting that occurred. and that is delusions. delusions are false beliefs that are bizarre. if you look at his writings, which as we've seen in secret service reports about such shootings, writings are very valuable indicators of state of
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mind. loughner stated that he believed that his mind was being controlled. he stated that he believed that the government was listening in on him. again textbook demonstrations of delusions of persecution -- >> so these are signs we should be looking for in individuals like this. >> if you see these writings, they are clear indicators that this person has a very high probability of suffering from a psychotic illness. >> is it also a clear indicator that this person could become violent? >> well, let's talk about -- you are asking the questions that are most important. because the third indicator, which is this disruptive behavior that he showed in the classroom at pima community college, five times they had to call the campus police, and the behavior was not this kind of opportunistic antisocial behavior. it was strange, bizarre. so strange, that his algebra teacher feared that if he turned his back, remember before the shooting, that he would actually be shot by loughner with an automatic rifle. this is someone who is having a
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psychotic break. and there was a witness, a friend of loughner's, or an acquaintance, who knew him during the years of 19 to 22, the age he is now, and said that he underwent a radical change. >> what makes a schizophrenic, even a paranoid schizophrenic, become dangerous? >> it isn't even a paranoid schizophrenic, but it's especially a paranoid schizophrenic. schizophrenics as a whole are not dangerous. a psychopath would be more dangerous. but a paranoid is afraid more than anything else, wolf, that someone is out to get them. >> are they hearing things? people talking to them, in their brains? >> some have hallucinations and some have delusions. but the key here and the connection to giffords is that if someone believes that the government is out to get them in a delusional way, that it's filling their mind and running through their mind, and around them is rhetoric which is hostile and chaotic, research shows that it makes the symptoms worse, that because they are paranoid and believe that people
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are out to get them, they believe in the threat, and in that case, they act on it. and that's what i believe -- >> and the tragedy here is that with the proper medication, these people can be treated and live relatively normal lives? >> well, a very interesting point. arizona, unlike many other states, has a very unique law. and the law states that any person, a faculty member, a teacher can petition the state to have a psychiatric evaluation done. no one did this. if this had been done or if a friend, a counselor, a teacher had taken him -- >> a parent? >> a parent! had taken him to a hospital, there are antipsychotic medications that would have removed the very paranoid delusions that you are talking about, or reduced them, in most cases, and if that had occurred, we would not be talking about the tragedy today. >> finally, you're a lawyer too, in addition to being a psychologist. >> yes.
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>> if he pleased innocent on the grounds of insanity, does he have a case? is he insane? >> look, so that your viewers understand, there is a difference between the medical diagnosis of schizophrenia and the legal standard of insanity. insanity is a legal word, it's a legal standard. and to boil its down to its essence, it means, did the person know what they were doing was wrong and did they know the difference between right and wrong? the question is -- and this is something you would have to see him to know -- is is he so indeed psychotic, if he is indeed psychotic, and the chances are high, that he did not know his actions were wrong. and look at his last note he left on myspace. he told his friends, i'm sorry, please don't be mad at me. and that, you can be sure the prosecution will use, as state of mind evidence that he knew what he was doing was wrong. >> alan lipman, thanks very much. useful information. i want to stress, though, you have not seen him, you don't know him. this is all based on just your observations reading about him. >> not only do you want to
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stress it, but i want to stress it. and i want to make clear that while this information is available to us and in schizophrenia gives us particularly useful amount of evidence, there is a strong calveat that i have not seen ths individual, but nonetheless, it is compelling information that we should take into account. >> alan, thanks very much for coming in. >> it's a pleasure meeting you. we're going back to tucson next. jessica yellin is getting some new information about that the funeral protest bill that's being debated right now. stand by for that. and a leading gun control advocate. his family was torn apart by a shooting, is pushing for new limits on high-capacity ammunition in the wake of tucson tragedy. we'll take you inside a gun store for reaction. and jack cafferty is asking, what can president obama say in tucson tomorrow to ease the nation's pain? !e!e!e!e!e!e!e!e!e
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want to get right back to tucson. jessica yellin standing by. new information coming in on the legislature there taking dramatic action to do what? because something has just happened, jessica. >> reporter: wolf, the statehouse and senate here in arizona have just passed a bill that will block protesters from coming within 300 feet of any funeral, but this is true of all funerals, but particularly aimed at the funeral of 9-year-old
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christina green, who will be laid to rest here on thursday. the westboro baptist church known for its anti-gay positions and for using high-profile funerals to call attention to them has said they will protest. so in addition to having members of the democratic and republican parties here lining the road, to create a barricade between the mourners and the protesters, now the statehouse and senate have come together in unanimous action to show their first bipartisan effort after this tragedy to pass this legislation, expedite it in a way that's very unusual. usually a measure like this would take days, weeks to pass, not hours. the governor has told cnn that she plans to sign this bill when it gets to her, wolf. >> good for them. thanks jump, jessica, for that. the congressional debate over guns has now rekindled, namely the kind of high-capacity magazine that allows the shooter to keep firing round after round after round. our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash, is up on capitol hill looking into this part of the story for us.
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what's going on, dana? >> reporter: what's going on is that after unfortunate tragedies like we saw over the weekend, there does tend to be a focus on congress and a focus on whether or not there can be more gun control laws added to the books. and members of the community who fight for gun control say they hope because a member of congress was involved this time, that maybe her colleagues here will listen. sources i'm talking to say, unlikely. accused gunman jared lee loughner opened fire with a gun using a magazine holding up to 30 bullets before he was tackled while trying to reload. some democrats in congress argue such high-capacity magazines should not be legal and are pushing for a ban. >> that enabled him to do the kind of damage that he did. so there is no earthly reason for these weapons to have that kind of bullet capacity. >> reporter: in 1994, president clinton signed an assault weapons ban that did make high
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capacity magazines, like the one loughner allegedly used, illegal. but the ban lapsed in 2004 without much of a fight. senior democrats who had been front and center on gun control concluded it was bad politics. >> we believe it is time for some common sense gun safety measures. >> reporter: democratic strategists believed al gore and other democrats lost critical votes in rural america by pushing for stricter gun laws, and are still weary of the issue. liberal senator patrick leahy supports gun rights. >> gun control is probably not a winning issue. >> reporter: senate democratic leader harry reid is a gun rights supporter too. in fact, even before republicans took control of the house, from-gun forces had gained ground, passing measures like allowing firearms in national parks and on luggage on amtrak. still, in the wake of another tragedy, the 2007 shooting spree at virginia tech, congress did act to strengthen reporting for
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background checks. gun control advocates want to seize the moment again. >> it has directly involved a member of congress. it involved a congressional staffer, who's now dead. it involved a federal judge, who's now dead. the 9-year-old who's dead. i think when it hits that close to home, hopefully, the folks on the hill will wake up. >> reporter: but opponents argue high-capacity magazines are already out there and say banning them is pointless. >> bad guys are going to get guns. they're going to get clips. they're going to do bad things, if that's what their intention is. we should not divert our attention from what the real problem was here. we had an individual who has expressed violent intent, who clearly had some mental instability along the way. >> reporter: a senior house gop leadership aide tells me that the chances of passing new gun control legislation, even in the wake of this tragedy is "zero." as one senior democratic aide told me, look, this is just a pro-gun congress right now. and that is why even though in the senate, democrats still
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control it, i am told by democratic sources there not to look for them to push this or other legislation anytime soon, as one democratic source said, we're going to focus on fights we can win. wolf? >> dana bash on the hill for us, thank. defending the alleged gunman, jared lee loughner, will likely be an uphill battle, but how likely is it that he will actually face the death penalty? i'll speak with a prominent attorney. that's coming up. also, one of the first trauma surgeons to treat congresswoman giffords is here in "the situation room." we'll get an update on her condition. that's coming up live. stay with us. [ male announcer ] in the event of a collision, the smartest thing you could do is cut the fuel supply... ♪ ...unlock the doors, and turn on the hazard lights. or better yet, get a car that automatically does it for you. ♪ ♪
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we'll go back to tucson in a moment, but there's some other important news we're following, including a new pledge from the vice president about the timeline for withdrawing u.s. troops from afghanistan. lisa sylvester is monitoring that, some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what about the vice president? what's going on? >> wolf, this is some new information. vice president biden says u.s. troops will stay in afghanistan beyond 2014 if officials there
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want them to. the vice president made the comments on an unannounced visit there. he also stressed it's not the intention of the united states to nation build. president obama previously outlined plans to begin withdrawing troops in july with all scheduled to be out by 2014. well, the winter blast crippling the southeast, it's heading up the coast, where it is expected to merge with another system and hammer northeastern states. cities from philadelphia to boston, they are bracing for anywhere from 5 to 15 inches of snow. new york mayor michael bloomberg, who was criticized for his response to last month's blizzard, says the city is doing everything possible to tackle this storm. and new signs that former republican house speaker newt gingrich is considering a presidential run in 2012. a spokesman says gingrich will visit iowa, a key state, at the end of the month to address ethanol proponents. this is his third visit to the state since september. so it's all revving up right now, already, over 2012, wolf.
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>> gingrich, he says early spring he'll make the formal announcement. thanks very much. the american people, apparently, are skeptical that the angry tone here in washington played a role in the tucson shooting. paul begala and mary matalin, they are both here. they're standing by live. and we'll take a closer look at the type of guns that are being watched right now, under scrutiny after the massacre. >> man: diving to 4,000 meters. >> boy: go down, down, down. down. straight. go straight. no, to the right. to the right. >> go to the right, go to the right. >> whoa! >> whoa! >> what is that? >> man: well, that's a, uh... i don't know. >> whoa. >> can we call him blinky? >> woman: expert teaching.
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we have been waiting for this all afternoon. you're looking at live pictures from outside the home of the parents of jared lee loughner, the accused killer in the wounding of 14 people, killing six others. moments ago, someone walked out of that home and began passing out a statement, a written statement. we believe this is a statement from the family, statement, and we believe it is from the loughner family who has issued the first reaction to the killing of six people and the wounding of four other individuals. our susan candiotti is there on the scene for us, and she will read that statement to us. the first formal reaction from loughner's parents, we believe, on what has occurred, what occurred saturday morning in suessu tucson. as we await susan candiotti, let's bring in paul begala and mary matalin.
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paul, this is one of the stories that we have lived by in the past, and it is getting worse and maybe it is because we are older and lived through these kinds of things before, but now it is reaction of this accused killer. susan, are you ready to read that statement to us? >> yes. i will read a statement to you brought out a few moments ago by some people who spent hours inside of the house. they did not identify themselves, but this is a statement from the loughner family and it reads, quote, this is a very difficult time for us. we ask the media to respect our privacy. there are no words that can possibly express how we feel. we wish that there were, so we could make you feel better. we don't understand why this happened. it may not make any difference, but we wish we could change the heinous events of saturday. we care deeply about the victims and their families, and we are so very sorry for their los. thank you and it is signed the
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loughner family. again, this is a statement from the family of accused shooter here in tucson, jared lee loughner, and he, his parents have been holed up in their home for several days. let me go down -- something is happening behind us here. >> out of the way! down in front. >> reporter: what is happening there is that the people who came out to give a statement are standing at the door who distributed the statement rather and someone just approached the house and went in the back, and apparently to pay a visit to the loughners. there's been -- they have been inside of the house all day, wolf, and there is activity of a man going in and out and two other people went in and a woman and a man, and so presumably, they have been spending the entire day with the family. they have declined to tell us who they were and their connection to the family, and so we have had no response. and then finally after several
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hours, after a day, they came out to issue this statement. wolf, we don't know whether it is the defense attorney who is in there meeting with them, or who exactly is inside, but of course, we are standing by in hopes of finding out exactly who they were, but this is the first time in some meaningful way from the loughner family. >> do me a favor, because i want to digest what this statement says. read it, and it is not long. read it one more time, susan. >> exactly. absolutely. it reads like this, quote, this is a very difficult time for us. we ask the media to respect our privacy. there are no words that can possibly express how we feel. we wish that there were, so that we could make you feel better. we don't understand why this happened. it may not make any difference, but we wish that we could change the heinous events of saturday. we care very deeply about the victims and their families, and we are so very sorry for their
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loss. thank you, and it is signed by the loughner family. we have been talking to the neighbors throughout the past day and couple of days to get a sense of the loughner family, and from the neighborhood, friendly and safe neighborhood, and everybody likes everybody. this family is universally described ads quiet and keep to themselves. they have lived here for a number of years. first mr. loughner lived here single, and then the wife moved in and they raised their only son jared. he had some interaction with the children in the neighborhood and others who visited the neighborhood, but as he grew, he is a person that they said didn't say much, nor was there much interaction between mr. and mrs. loughner and the other neighbors. sometimes we were told that they would exchange niceties among themselves, but then one neighbor described that for some reason he stopped talking to her when the neighbor tried to find out why, it was no answer was
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given. another neighbor across the street had some difficulties with them because of some trash that was temporarily located, but he had not yet gotten rid of, and that was something that the neighbor said that mr. loughner had a hard time letting go of even after the trash had been removed. after that, i talked to one elderly neighbor across the street who said that the last time he saw jared was six or seven weeks ago and that is the first time he saw him with his head shaved. before that, he said, he wore his hair in a close cropped fashion and then all of the sudden, inexplicably it was shaved. not much talk or friendly feelings among the neighbors and the loughners. after this happened universally, they said they feel sorry for them, too. >> susan, i want you to stand by, because i want to dig deeper into what is going on there. the first reaction of jared lee
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loughner who lived in that home that you are watching. when we come back, jack cafferty is going to ask what president obama can do or say in tucson to ease the pain. jack is coming up with the e-mails next. and the woman who was with christina green in the tucson massac massacre, and the husband will tell us what his wife remembers after being shot. impressive resume. thank you.
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and rita says that the president going to tucson shows humanity. he can't ease the pain, but he can share it as the president. and then this one, i think that president obama needs to use the tragedy in tucson as an example of what we can expect in the future if we don't unite as a country and work together to solve the problems we have. and then john says jack, sometimes there is nothing that can be said to ease the pain of those who have lost loved ones. president obama's appearance at a memorial service alone is a strong sign that the nation mourns the loss of a life in tucson. and mike writes this one, in tucson, there is a empty desk. it belonged to a little girl whose classmates sit in shock and wait for an explanation, and there is an empty bench in a courtroom where justice goes
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understand answered, and in congress, there is a voice that is not heard. president obama has to give us back that voice for justice and the future of those kids. if you want tomy blog at cnn.com/caffertyfile. and a new move to ban the type of magazine that allowed the gunman to fire into the crowd without stopping. and why some lawmakers are risking political fallout to renew the gun debate. and how the shooting defense lawyer may use the insanity defense. i will speak to harvard professor allan dershowitz. we want to welcome our viewers from around the world and in the united states, and breaking news and political updates.
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and political updates. i'm wolf blitzer. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com statemestatement jusp st> statemestatement jusp stsre famifamily op family of fad statemestatement jusp stsre famifamily op family of f ttherthe gunmap the tci statement that was from people who presumably came out and handed out a piece of paper and then walked back into the house. here is what the loughner family wants the public to know. quote. this is a very difficult time for us. we ask the media to respect our privacy ft there are no words that can possibly express how we feel. it says that we wish there were, so we can make you feel better. we don't understand why this happened. it may not make any difference,
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but we wish we could change the heinous events of saturday. we care about the victims and their families and we are so sorry for their loss. it is signed thank you, the loughner family. >> susan, set the scene for us. what is going on in the family home where this young man 22 years old was raised and grew up in that home, i take it, so what has happened there since saturday morning? >> well, the family has been holed up in the house ever since. and as you can imagine, because everyone is -- there are so many questions surrounding this young man and as a consequence, their family, and so many questions about whether he sought psychiatric care or whether they sought care for him, or whether he was on any medication, and what the fam sli aily is all abd what they feel happened as a result. naturally, a number of reporters up and down the street, and
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trying to make encotact with the family, and when that was not successful getting a sense of what the neighbors can tell us about the family by way of background and how they might have intermingled with the neighbors here and for the most part, everyone says they are a family that pretty much kept to themselves, and lived here for a long time. jared drew up here and themp fa -- the family has been here and exchanged words with the neighbors in a friendly way. but others talked about glaring looks or angry words over trash or this sort of thing until saturday. saturday, one of the neighbors said he was standing outside after the shooting happened and he saw that the crime scene tape had been put up around the house, and at that time, there were sheriff's deputies parked outside of the house, and he watched as mr. loughner drove up to the house. he said that he saw the deputies approach him at a distance, and the deputies approached him, appeared to be telling him the
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news, and the neighbors said that, because at that point mr. loughner seemed shaken and put his hand to his head and seemed emotionally distressed at that time. the neighbor did not approach him, but this was his observations. so he described the father as in shock over what happened, wolf. >> and susan candiotti is outside of the home of the family of jared lee loughner. brian todd is digging deeper into the background of this jared lee loughner and what are you picking up? >> well, new pieces of communications that jared loughner had in hours before the shootings in addition to information about the family that susan mentioned and the loughner home. >> reporter: clues to a killer's mindset may lie from where he came from. this makeshift shrine where he lived with his parents at the time of the shooting. a skull surrounded by rotten
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oranges and candles and a bag of potting soil, and the the photo taken by the new york "daily news," and it is not clear who put it up or if it is still there, an inside of the house are the distraught crying parents. neighbors say they never saw this coming. they tell cnn that loughner's father was unhappy angry man before saturday's shooting in tucson, and one after failate said that the family didn't speak with anybody. >> they were like mountainmen, and they wanted to be alone. they didn't bother me. i mean -- >> reporter: the whole family or jared? >> the whole family. >> reporter: and also left behind by loughner, a voice mail to his friend just hours before the shooting. he didn't want anybody to record it, but he described the voice mail to the "morning show." >> we have had some good times and peace out. >> and he describes the confrontation that loughner had
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with congresswoman gabrielle giffords at a 2007 event. he asked her what is government if words have no meaning, and he says that loughner dwelled on the fact that she could not answer his question. in earlier years, there was nothing dark about jared loughner and describe him as a normal kid who played the saxophone. a neighbor tells him that good music came from that house, and the neighbor believes that the loughners genuinely and deeply loved their son, but at some point in high school, acquaintances say that jared loughner began to turn, and the recent writings according to allan litman from the center for violence like this posting believed to be from loughner on youtube. i know who is listening, the government and people and he describes mind control and brainwash methods. >> classic signs of psychosis and the writings that people were looking for whether he was on the left or the right, he was neither. he was incoherent, and what you
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would see in a patient with psychosis. >> he was arrested in october of 2007 on a misdemeanor drug charge and went through a diversion program with the county attorney's office and the pima county sheriff said there had been law enforcement contact with jared loughner with according to the sheriff he made threats to kill, but the sheriff did not get into specifics. >> well, you are getting information on where jared lee loughner worked over the years. >> yes, he worked in an eddie bauer store in the tucson area. the company will say that he did not work there at the time of the shootings and had not worked there in more than a year. "the new york times" says that he volunteered at the pima county animal care center last year as a dog walker, but the manager said that they had to let him go, because he ignored the warnings where to walk the
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dogs where a virus was detected, so it is dribs and drabs. >> the congresswoman gabrielle giffords is breathing on her own though a tube is being used to protect the airways. doctors are encouraged that she has done so well, and their words. the condition is critical and five other shooting victims are hospitalized. and arizona lawmakers have passed without objection an emergency bill to bar protesters from are the fringe of getting within 300 feet of funerals. and a controversial church group has said it will show up at the funeral of christina green, who is the 9-year-old girl who is killed in tucson, and the youngest victim of the tucson shootings attended a political event with a family friend, and now the friend is reliving the massacre from her hospital bed. we go straight to the cnn's ted rowlands who is in tucson with more.
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ted? >> yeah, wolf, the story of christina green is probably one of the most heartbreaking of all of this. this little 9-year-old was with this neighbor when she went to the event and was killed in the shooting rampage. well, now through her husband, the woman who had christina with her at the event is recalling the details of what happened saturday morning. >> reporter: 9-year-old christina green was with suzie heilemann her neighbor when she was killed in the shooting rampage. suzie was shot three times and recovering. her husband bill said she started talking as soon as she came to from surgery. >> the first thing she asked and grabbed my hand and looked me in the eyes and asked what about christina? >> reporter: bill told his wife that christina was dead. since then, she is remembering bits and pieces of what happened. >> they heard the bullets at the beginning of the line and they were further away at the time gabby was hit, and how she had christina by the hand and
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saying, let's run, let's run, but as soon as they basically said that is when they got hit. >> reporter: bill said that suzie thought christina would like to meet her, because she was part of her school government. bill says that h s that he and had developed a relationship with her over the years. >> she was happy, and interested and happy to engage you and she was not put off about things that she did not understand. she was curious about them. she was a good athlete and good sister and just a joy to be around. >> reporter: bill says he is worried about the obvious guilt ta his wife may have to deal with, but says that christina's parents are wonderful, and not what people might expect from a couple who just lost their 9-year-old daughter. >> and yet, we have quite the opposite. and to anyone who is a parent, to me, that is a level of strength that is almost unimaginable. i think that the reaction is just too much to expect out of anyone, and it blows me away the
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grace they are showing. i am thankful on behalf of my wife that her healing will be possible because of their graciousness. >> reporter: bill says that his wife had surgery today and expected to have a full recovery, but obviouslier skaed for life over what happened to little christina. >> thank you, ted rowlands on the scene for us. thank you. will the shooting change any of the laws coming out of washington? jack cafferty is here with the cafferty file. jack? >> it is a debate almost as old as the country, itself, whether it is a good idea for private citizens to own guns. and when something like the tucson massacre happens, that debate roars to life all over again. it was remarkably easy for the shooter, jared lee loughner to get his hands on a gun in arizona. the state that has some of to laxest gun laws in the country. 22-year-old kid passed an instant background check in a sporting goods store and then bought a glock 19, a 9
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millimeter semi automatic pistol and bought a magazine to allow him to shoot 33 shots without reloading than the standard 10. some lawmakers want to ban the oversized magazines nationwide. they are outlawed in many states, but not arizona. guns are allowedm will everywhere in arizona, the state capital, public buildings, and lot of them, and in places that serve alcohol and on school grounds. meanwhile, by many accounts, young loughner is being described as mentally unstable and someone who ne shouver shou have been allowed to buy a gun in the first place. the military rejected him for failing a drug test. he had five run-ins with community college police before he was kicked out of school for disruptive activity, but instead of becoming stricter, the nation's gun laws have become more lax in recent years.
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examples remoinb collude the rel of washington, d.c.'s handgun ban, and the ability of citizens to carry ckoconcealed weapons i our parks. should the tucson tragedy be enough to change the nation's gun laws? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile to share your thoughts. we are following congresswoman's giffords' condition. we are going to get the latest from the trauma surgeon who has been with her. and the accuse dld legal defens. we want to get the answer from the best criminal defense attorney in the nation, allan dershowitz.
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the alleged tucson shooter if found gl uilty could face th death penalty which looms over
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his defense attorneys. joining us is attorney allan dershowitz of the harvard law school, and based on what you know coming in, and early in the process, but is he likely to be executed or get life without the possibility of parole or something else? >>le with, i think that it is very likely they will seek the death penalty, because it gives the prosecution an advantage in jury selection to have jurors excused from the death penalty. and this is a serious crime, and politically they are motivated to seek the death penalty and whether they get it or not will depend on the nature of the jury. the jury ironically may be somewhat more sympathetic in arizona, because arizona has a strong gun culture that some jurors may think, gee, we don't want to blame this on guns or on the rhetoric, and maybe we just blame it on the fact that he's insane or at least crazy enough so that he does not get the death penalty. you know, h e has a very good lawyer and the lawyer has to play all of the angles.
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>> but getting the insanity defense to work, you have to show that the individual could not differ right from wrong, and in court, he answered the judge's questions and cogent and seemed reasonable in the 15-minute appearance? >> well, many insane people, and seriously mentally ill people seem reasonable, but it is a daunting defense to raise. he has to show he did not understand the nature and the quality of the act, and he has the burden of proving it by clear and convincing evidence and very, very hard to mount the insanity defense after the hinkley acquittal of shooting of ronald reagan and much easier to get mental illness as a mitig e mitigating factor to reduce life imprisonment, and they may try to raise the insanity defense knowing she will lose to soften up the jury for the possibility of mitigation on capital
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punishment. >> listenp to one of the classmates of the community college speak about him. i will play the clip. listen to this. >> the first time i was struck by him was because he used inappropriate reactions to people's emotional content. he would laugh at things that were sad. he just didn't seem to be aware of what was going on. >> and another one of the professors at the pima community college said that someone's whose brains were scrambled and thoughts unrelated to anything in the world. he was always looking away and not out of the window, but like someone watching a scene play out in his mind. that makes it sound like this wu a very disturbed individual. >> the problem is that being disturbed orren seriously mentally ill does not constitute an insanity defense under the federal statute. the statute says that serious mental illness alone without the incapacity to understand that nature of the wrongfulness or
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conduct is not a defense. so the drafters went out of their way to say that not matte have to indicate that your mental illness affected your ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of the conduct. and the fact that he planned it, and the fact that he seemed reasonable will have a great influence on the jury under the instruction that they will get relating to insanity. so it is very uphill for him to be able to succeed on an insanity defense, but he has a reasonable chance to succeed on mental illness as a mitigating factor. >> is it possible that he might plead guilty and beg for mercy to the court? is that at all realistic? would the prosecution, the federal prosecutors in the case accept the guilty plea for something less than the death penalty? >> well, you don't plead guilty to the death sentence. you plead guilty only to the crime, and if he were to want to
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plead guilty, the prosecutors would have no choice, but to accept that. but then there'd be a trial essentially on whether he gets the death penalty. his lawyer may want him to plead guilty and that may be a good tactic, but he may not want to. there is a case in the supreme court where the defendant did not want to plead guilty and essentially the lawyer said, he did it, he did it, and don't doubt he did, but spare him the death penalty and then took it to the supreme court saying that the lawyer did not do a good job, and that is okay. the lawyer can concede he did it and plead for mercy, and that's okay. >> allan dershowitz from law school, thank you very much for helping us. >> thank you. jan brewer is over at that sort of makeshift candlelight ceremony, the memorial for the outside of the hospital in
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tucson and ted rowlands is there for us as well. ted, we see commotion and activity, and the arizona governor i take it went inside of the hospital a while ago to see the victims who survived. i don't know if she went to see the congresswoman gabrielle giffords, but tell the viewers what you are seeing now? >> the governor is making a second trip here to the hospital. we were told that this is likely. she is obviously coming back to take a look at the memorial which has grown over the past few days, and there are a ton of reporters out here, and aun tb -- a ton of cameras, but there are a lot of folks who are here at the memorial at this time, and you can see that she is looking through the different notes and cards and momentos left here on the lawn of the arizona health sciences center at the university medical center. she was inside of the hospital for some time, and we don't know exactly who she talked to, but presumably she talked to all of the families, the victims'
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families and we haven't gotten details yet about her visit, but clearly, she spent a considerable amount of time inside of the hospital, and now she is taking a few moments here outside of the hospital as well. >> to pay her respects and to see that little area outside of the hospital. do we expect her to go to the microphone to make a statement or anything, ted? >> well, it looks like she is making herself available. we are trying to get some audio over there to listen to her, and we have a camera. we will see if we can hear her. f. sorry. >> okay. hold on. there is cable right here. >> okay. thank you. it looks like they are ready to walk her over to microphones, but maybe not. she is behind the police officers. >> maybe she is walking back to her vehicle. oh, no, she is going past her vehicle. so she is going to make herself available to try to organize
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this. this is a very tight space, because there are vehicles, basically wedging all of the people that you see up against the memorial, and the curbside here. so it is tight quarters, so it will take a couple of seconds for her to get settled, but it is looking like she will say something. >> looks like she is talking to folks over there, and looks like she is going to go to the microphone and make a statement. but if she makes a statement away from the main platform there, we will get it and bring it to the viewers. but we will see if she walks over to the microphones right now. we hear the police officers with her, and she is walking by some folk, and the governor is clearly shaken by everybody else by what happened in tucson, and we saw the emotional statement she made right after that, but it is something that has shaken up the entire country and we know that president obama is ready to fly to tucson to
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participate in the memorial service. we will continue to watch what is happening with the governor outside of the hospital. we will take a quick break and including the coverage, could to tucson massacre have been prevented if ammunition magazines that hold a lot of of bullets had been banned? lawmakers renewing a key part of the debate. and congresswoman gabrielle giffords is breathing on her own. we will get an update on her condition from a trauma specialist, one of the first on the scene. whatcha doing? snapple stuff.
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the shooting at tucson which left congresswoman gabrielle giffords critically wounded left lawmakers here feeling closely het homing. they are calling for new
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restrictions on illegal weapons. >>er as the tragedy unfolded, there was a flashback to the long island railroad when a gunman killed her husband dennis and wounded her son kevin 17 years ago. >> when you hear it, it hits you you don't want to go. >> reporter: she has no plan to call for unlimited gun sales, but plans to go to extended magazines that hold for man 10 bullets and the type of gun magazine that jared loughner allegedly used in tucson. >> in this particular tragedy, would the proposal you have, have is made a difference? >> yes, look at the number of bullets he got off and a majority of the bullets killed or injured someone. >> reporter: and only when loughner spent the ammunition and tried to e ied to reload we
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bystanders able to tackle him. but somesay it is a limit on the second amendment right to bear arms. >> they have the unfortunate situation to be in a situation of more than one attacker. >> reporter: the national rifle association refused to address the issue saying that at this time anything other than prayers for the victims and their families would be inappropriate. >> reporter: and right now, she expects a huge challenge in congress even after the latest horrific challenge. you are not confident that the proposal will become law? >> i will say that i'm going to have a battle. >> allan chernoff porting for us. >> let's talk about the ammunition called ininto question. tom foreman is taking a closer look at that. >> well, wolf, let's look at the nuts and bolts of what people are talking about. this is a glock semi automatic
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pistol here, and when they talk about the number of cartridges that you would have inside of a magazine of this, you are obviously talking about individual bullets like this. a standard cartridge on one of these could hold, you know, 10 or 12, something like that, depending upon the type that you have, so that they would be lined up like this, and this is how many some of the critics say, look, this is the most they want in a gun like that. that is what they say. if you have an extended magazine, get rid of this one, then you have a bigger one like this, which would hold many more bullets. so the simple argument is that one side says that, look, if you are in a situation where you have to defend yourself, you are going to want all of this protection, and the other side is saying, if you are in a position where you are being attacked, you don't want somebody to be able to load up with awe f all of these things so let's look specifically at the arizona case as i put these aside here. in arizona the law under fire and concern there, is that first of all, it has one of the most
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lenient gun laws or collection of gun laws in the country. the brady folks give it very bad ratings on on this. easy to carry a gun, and buy a gun and easy to conceal it and do whatever you want in arizona, because you can take it into a lot of places, and the high capacity magazines are illegal particularly when you look at one arizona law which says that if a gun or its various implements are made and sold in arizona that they are exempt from federal law. that is one of the real concerns about what has happened in arizona. now, all of that said, wolf, i am sure that the question that comes up for the international audience is the second amendment, because that is really the cornerstone here. under the second amendment which is also being argued in this case is this fundamental question about the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed and as you know, wolf, in the last couple of years the supreme court has said in places like washington, d.c. where they have tried to step on things that
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people can do with the handguns that they can't do that. that is what this court has ruled right now, that this, the nuts and bolts of to machinery and what can and cannot be done with it, and the debate of what is restricted is happening in the cornerstone of arizona right now, wolf. >> it is under way right now and under way for a long time. congresswoman gabrielle giffords remains in critical condition, but doctors are encouraged that she is doing as well as she has. and joining us is dr. randall fries, and thank you for coming in and for the what you are doing there. i take it that you are if not the firsts, one of the first to treat the congresswoman, when she came to the hospital. walk us through what you sawn't. >> well, wolff, i finished up treating christina green, and i had no idea of the identity of the trauma victims and informed
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that the congresswoman was in an adjacent room and just arrived so i walked in and assumed the responsibilities for treating her and resuscitating her. as i said before, the first thing i did was to walk to her bedside and hold her hand. i took her hand in mine, and i leaned in close to eher, and i wanted to communicate to her, that she was at the hospital and we would be caring for her, and i asked her to squeeze my hand as a way tos assess whether or not she understood what i said, and she gave my hand a big squeeze. >> at that point, you didn't know she was a united states congresswoman, but a woman in bad shape? >> no, no. i i knew when i walked into the room, i recognized her and told who she was before i got to the bedside, but i didn't know before that moment. >> there is some confusion on the wound, the bullet that it went from back to front and front to back and how high. can you update us on what we
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know? >> with, i can tell you that i'm not a ballistics expert or forensics expert or scientist, but she had two wounds. one in the back of the head relatively high and another larger wound was on the left side of her forehead. >> and the wound on the forehead, was that a bullet wound as well? >> i assumed it was, yes. >> and how is she doing now based on what you are hear, because i know that you have followed up offthe past few days? >> yes, i am currently involved in the care, and i see her with dr. rhee and dr. lemole, and make assessments frequently. she continues to make improvements and we all remain cautiously optimistic. we are hoping for the best, however, we all recognize that there is quite a few complications that can ensue. in critical illness and injury, it is not uncommon for patients to take steps backward, so what i look for and tell the family that we are looking for small teps forward and in the right
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direction, because there will be steps backward at some point. >> did you see any small steps forward today? h. >> everyday, small steps forward. >> she is breathing on her own? is that the latest information we are getting? >> she is on a breathing machine, and she has been on the ventilator since the admission into the icu. when someone in the icu is on a breathing machine, we attempt to wean the machine, and basically weaning means transfer or work the breathing from the machine to the patient. we are always doing that, and the more work or breathing that a patient does, the better and the more negative breathing that the patient does the better, and yes, we have been weaning her from the ventilator and making small steps forward. >> the whole notion of being in an induced coma. is she from time to time put in an induced coma or is that overwith? >> well, what dr. rhee meant by induced coma is a heavy level of sedation, and we use medications
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short act sing so that when we start the medications they act quickly and put her in a date d state, and not necessarily a coma, but the medications will be fast-acting and when we turn it off, the effects are wearing away quickly, so we can get a good exam in the absence of sedative medicine. >> these are critical days right now, but what i hear you and the other doctors saying, that you are encouraged and think she is moving in the right direction? >> absolutely. we are very encouraged. we remain optimistic, and small steps forward everyday. you know, again, a myriad of complications can ensue. our job is to if we can prevent them or at least identify them early so that we can treat them quickly and minimize any negative effects. >> dr. randall friese is the director of trauma at the tucson
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medical center. thank you once again. >> thank you. it is a difficult moment and possibly a pivotal one for any leader at a timef of national tragedy, and will president obama rise to the occasion when he at tends the memorial service in tucson. and plus, al qaeda with a real threat to the united states.
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all right. looking at live pictures of governor jan brewer of arizona and she just spoke to our own john king a few moments ago. that interview will be with "john king usa" at thep to of the hour. the president and the first lady will travel to tucson to attend memorial services of the tucson massacre and visit with victims' families. and also there are parallels to tragedy in his first term, and that is president bill clinton and the oklahoma city bombing. will president obama rise to the occasion as bill clinton did almost 16 years ago? we will talk about that with political analyst gloria borger and david gergen. gloria, you have been talking to some who have helpeded president clinton in that privotal moment
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of that speech he gave, and helped to turn it around. what are you hearing about the parallels? >> well, it helped to heel the kun tr-- country, and of course timothy mcveigh is different thank this accused shooter. he was politically motivated, but we don't think that about this shooter, but the goal of the president remains the same. what he was saying to me and we all know that a president at this time has to call for unity, remind us about what is the best in america, now that we have seen what is the worst in america. talk about the individual heroism that we saw in event to remind us that there are really good people in this country doing wonderful things. and in this particular case, wolf, perhaps remind us of the dignity and importance of public service and that what the congresswoman was doing on that
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street corner is what every member of congress does, and that democracy cannot be interrupted because of what happened in tucson. >> david, as someone who worked for president clinton in the first term, what advice would you have for president obama right now as he prepares to go to tucson and speak at this memorial service? >> to draw heavily upon the first half of president clinton's playbook in 1995 in oklahoma city. just as gloria said. this is a moment when a president best served the country by giving voice to what so many of us feel. the horror at what happened in tucson, and the sense of wonderfulment and senselessness about this. and the sense that the people in the community have risen to this. at the university medical center is one of the best in the country, and they have done a superb job by all accounts and to give voice of the healing,
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and all of that, president obama should draw from president clinton, but it is worth remembering what a lot of the conservatives arer worried about today is that there was a second half to the clinton playbook and that is the day after oklahoma city, he went to minneapolis. and there bill clinton really went after extremism especially on talk radio and the anger on talk radio and seemed to be blaming oklahoma city on the right. and then we now have evidence from dick morris who was his pollster and strategist that within a couple of days he gave him a memo about how to have a meeting at the white house, how to exploit oklahoma city for political purpose, and i hope that part of the clinton playbook is thrown out. >> i was told today, in fact, morris was pushing bill clinton at that point to be more political in his comments, which he was not. i think that the tricky question -- >> he was not in oklahoma city. in oklahoma city, he was terrific. he was terrific in oklahoma city. >> right. and there was a discussion in the white house about that.
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i think that about his remarks in oklahoma city, and how far he should go. but there is a tricky question for barack obama in this which is a question of tone. because the president has talked about ratcheting down the tone of our political debate, and he can't be seen to be political or take one side or another and engage in the blame game in any shape or form, and i don't think that they are inclined to do that at the white house, but he can talk about how this is one america. remember the campaign, and not a blue states and red states, be pu one country. >> right. i also think, wolf, there is a -- possibly, the silver lining here in tucson is that this does invite us to have a new conversation, a fresh conversation about the culture of violence in this country, and the extremism that we do see. not in this speech tomorrow, but after tomorrow, i would hope that the follow-up would be some sort of action by the president
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working with republican leaders and perhaps leaders of the movie industry, and internet and video games and all of these things that have introduced a culture of violence among the young people that this young man somehow, h he was triggered, and we don't know how. we know there is a culture of violence in the country. >> should the president start talking about new steps in dealing with guns, gloria? >> well, in the speech tomorrow, i don't think so. i think that tomorrow is not a timer for any kind of political discussion about whether or not this could have been prevented if the gun control laws in arizona were different for example. that is up to congress and the president will certainbly weigh in on that at one point or another, and congress is already talking about different kinds of legislation, but no. i think that rm to tomorrow is the national pastor and to minister to country who feels so terrible about these events and
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to talk about as i was saying before, to talk about the importance and the dignity of what it was that, that congresswoman was doing in that parking lot that day. and how important that is to all of us. >> guys, thank you very much. good advice from gloria and david as usual. this is an important programming note for the viewers. please join me tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. eastern for special coverage of the memorial service, and the president's visit to tucson and i will anchor the coverage starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night. when the president heads to tucson for the memorial, key members of the administration are enfanning out across the globe, and we will tell you where and why. you are in "the situation room." . it's a paint and primer in one -- so it goes on bold, and looks even better. it means getting more done -- in half the time. and it means the shade you see on that swatch -- ends up on that wall... and is as durable as it is colorful. you know where to find it. more saving. more doing.
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♪ let freedom ring ♪ new enformation just released on than doctor accused of lying about the link between autism and vaccines. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room." what is the latest? well, this is stunning, wolf.
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the british medical journal released a second part of the investigation and now accusing british doctor andrew wakefield of exploring business deals to financially capitalize on the new debungt study. last week the journal released details of the long investigation into the doctor and his study of link of autism and vaccines. wakefield disputes the investigation. and now what some are calling an inland tsunami which has swept away cars and people. ten people are confirmed dead with 78 people missing in australia. people are told to brace for the worst flooding in 20 years and 3/4 of queensland has been declared a disaster zone. this afternoon, defense secretary robert gates was in china meeting with top officials including the country's vice president and prime minister.
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the visit is amid concerns of the country's stealth fighter jet. and joe biden was in afghanistan to meet with president karzai. he talked about the deadline of 2014 deadline and he says we are not leaving if you do not want us to leave, and the senior u.s vice president was talking about enduring relationship with afghanistan and not enduring military commitment. and hillary lclinton was paying a surprise visit to yemen saying that the u.s. wants to help them fight al qaeda in the peninsula and help with social and economic development in the poverty-stricken country. wolf. >> a lot of travel going on. thank you, lisa, for that. it is owuone of the perils public office.
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when they trip, everybody seems to see it. >> and we go one on one the arizona governor jan brewer with john king at the top of the hour.
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let's check back with jack for the cafferty file. >> should the tucson tragedy be enough to change the's gun laws. stacy says there's enough gun laws not enforced. the bad guys buy guns in the alley, and laws don't mean anything in the alley. sarah in florida. we ought to take this as wake-up call. a mentally unstable young man thrown out of community college for his frightening behavior and was rejected by the u.s. army walked into a store and walked
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out with a gun. put your agenda aside for two seconds and think about that. we should be ashamed of ourselves collectively as americans for allows that to happen. david in north carolina says our democracy ends when people lose their second amendment right to own and carry guns. as long as the people own and carry guns, the government is held in check. an unarmed population leads to a dictatorship. the second amendment is in the constitution to protect people from the government. cal in denver says it it won't happen either way. the second amouendment won't be affected and both sides will fight to get what they want and it will stalemate again in the supreme court if it gets that car. it's a gift and curse done with good intentions at the time. it's just that right now it allows the wrong people the right to bear arms. b.j. in illinois says the only time anything gets done or pushed through is when it affects someone important, so it's possible.
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dick says i think quite of reverse. if everyone had a gun at that event in tucson, i suspect loughner would have been full of holes after a couple of shots. lisa in kentucky. the columbine tragedy should have been enough, but the gun lobby is too powerful. if you want to read more go to the blog. >> jack, thanks very much. see you back here tomorrow. a diplomatic trip for hillary clinton. jeanne moos is next. [ male announcer ] breathe, socket. just breathe.
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these are hotshots coming into the situation room right now. in sudan a worker at a polling station helps a blind man vote in a historic referendum on independence for southern sudan. in australia a fire and rescue truck plows through flooded streets after torrential rain. in shanghai a man looks at cabinet-sized rooms in china's first capsule hotel. in india check it out. hundreds of vichtors watch a chimpanzee at a zoo. jeanne moos takes a most unusual look. >> for secretary of state hillary clinton, it was a foreign trip with a little too much tripping. her aides say she was okay, unlike the last time she tripped while walking to the white house and broke her elbow. she cited that injury when
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dismissing talk that her role in shaping foreign policy was being diminished. >> i broke my elbow, not my larynx. >> she's had a lot of practice boarding and exiting planes. steps are tricky enough, but imagine having a camera trained on your every arrival and departure. presidents develop their own style. president obama prefers to jog. bill clinton was more leisurely, and george bush occasionally clutched the railings, something gerald ford should have done. his fall while deplanes in austria has been embellished with sound effects and lives eternally on youtube. president ford stumbled going up the steps. it's not just american officials who slip on the airplane stairs while everyone is staring. french president nik lass sarkozy stayed on his feet, but just barely. so far president obama hasn't lost his footing but he lost his
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blackberry while jogging up the stairs and bonked his headboarding the presidential xhoper. so did president bush more than one, and michelle obama has banged her head on air force one. even presidential pets know better than to trust those airport steps. president bush had to give barney a push to get him to go up, and he had to nudge spot to get her to go down. as we learned in a jimmy kimmel bitd, the only thing more treacherous than using the stairs is having them go nowhere. >> the president was surprised when air force one pulled away without him. he suffered only minor bruise. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> i hope the secretary of state was okay. that looked like a nice little trip. i'm sure she's fine. join me tomorrow night 8:00 p.m. eastern. we'll have special c
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